NTSB Identification: WPR11LA025
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 23, 2010 in Dorrington, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-236, registration: N228KK
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, while the airplane was level at 15,000 feet in instrument meteorological conditions, he failed to apply carburetor heat to the engine. After several minutes, the engine began losing power, and the airplane was not able to sustain flight. During the descent for a forced landing in mountainous terrain, the airplane descended below the cloud base about 2,000 feet above the ground, and the pilot observed a road and a clearing. During the landing rollout, the airplane impacted trees, which severed its wings. Icing probability charts indicated that carburetor ice was probable under the atmospheric conditions in which the airplane had been flying. The pilot reported that if he had applied the carburetor heat during flight, the accident likely would not have occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s failure to use carburetor heat while cruising in carburetor icing conditions, which resulted in a loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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